Recent innovations in Cloud construction management software have made it easier for companies in the AEC industry to share and edit files from remote locations. Nevertheless, many systems in use today work independently from one another, making it challenging to manage collaboration, file distribution, and communication. In addition, these tools often have a high price tag, even though they lack the basic requirements for efficient project completion. There is, however, software that caters to the everchanging needs of the industry, as some construction workflow and document management solutions are purpose-built to resolve issues over communication, collaboration, efficiency, and rework errors.
Communication and Collaboration
Communication plays an integral role in the completion of complex engineering and construction projects. Unfortunately, many construction management tools today are segregated by specialty, making it difficult for workers to share and edit documents as needed throughout a project’s lifecycle. While communication is still possible using these legacy systems, they create bottlenecks in construction workflows, causing unnecessary delays in project completion, or worse, conflicts that cause rework.
An RFI (Request for Information) is one of the most common forms of communication between construction managers and the engineering and design team. RFIs directly align bid participants with the needs of the buying or installing company, ensuring quick and accurate project completion. RFIs have traditionally been developed and responded to using manual paper requests or even verbal requests. Technology now improves upon the methods to specify, track, and execute the RFIs.
As we all know, communication is only effective if both parties have a clear understanding of where their request is going, what the question is, and the potential ramifications of changes. That said, the use of multiple systems can make it difficult for companies to manage RFIs since communications may lack standardization.
In contrast, Engine-Box, eQuorum’s robust Cloud workflow and document management solution, is a single-source system designed to promote standardized communications between downstream contractors and buyers. It simplifies the way workers track changes across the project lifecycle while alerting system users who require notifications of requested changes.
Furthermore, Engine-Box’s markup feature allows workers to make changes to a document in real-time and works in conjunction with mobile smart devices, such as a smartphone or tablet. Markups can even include video, pictures, and audio, to provide even greater context and clarity for the changes that are needed.
In today’s world, mobile device redlining functionality is an essential component of engineering and construction management systems encouraging workers to collaborate from multiple locations or even multiple floors of the same facility.
Reduced Errors, Added Efficiency, and Quality Control
Engine-Box supports leading CAD software such as AutoCAD, MicroStation, Inventor, SolidWorks, NX, and Revit, allowing architects and engineers to share and edit plans simultaneously. Since all files are located within the same system, they can significantly reduce the amount of time spent moving documents between locations.
The software also includes features like full-text search and version control, ensuring engineers only find the most current version of a drawing or document, quickly and effortlessly. Moreover, Engine-Box reduces errors by making it easy for designers to locate back revisions of drawings and documents. The software also provides audit trails of all actions taken within the system, enabling project managers to identify bottlenecks quickly, preventing them from occurring in the future.
Additionally, Engine-Box hosts a workflow automation tool to track and manage workflow steps as drawings and documents move throughout the project lifecycle. Using internal and external email notifications, workers and managers can stay up-to-date with the progression of their projects while ensuring quality and reliability through a series of automated approval processes.
Costs for construction workflow and collaboration systems have been cost-prohibitive over the years, and the lack of good Internet connectivity made many systems just laborious. But system prices have come down drastically, to the point that even smaller organizations (we’re looking at you SMBs) can, and should, spend the money to manage their projects. And, Internet and cell connectivity is no longer an issue.
Implementing a comprehensive construction management system can equate to significant cost savings for architecture, engineering, and construction companies. Smart device technology, paired with the mobile accessibility of Engine-Box means companies are no longer constrained to the use of paper documents or on-premise systems. A construction DMS means faster communication, improved collaboration, and better ROI. Not only do they help workers tackle issues over collaboration and file distribution, but they also give organizations control over workflows, and ensure they are using the right drawings and documents, allowing them to seek and maintain a strong competitive advantage for years to come.